Make amends

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Your report on the terrible event in Connecticut (17 December) says that any effort to restrict access to high-powered weapons would be likely to be opposed by Republicans in Congress who wish to uphold the constitutional right to bear arms.

Didn’t these poor children have a right to life, and wasn’t that more important than any right to bear arms?

As Lesley Riddoch pointed out (Perspective, same day) this so-called “right” was written into the US Constitution in 1791. Hasn’t the world moved on somewhat since then?

The right to bear arms is 
enshrined in the Second Amendment but this outdated amendment must be repealed. There is a precedent. In 1919 the 18th Amendment outlawing all alcoholic drink was ratified. In the following decade it became very obvious that this amendment had been a significant factor in organised crime in the United States spiralling out of control.

This led to the repeal of it by the 21st Amendment in 1933, the only time an Amendment to the US Constitution has been 
repealed by another amendment.

I appreciate that the repeal of the Second Amendment is easier said than done but it is not 
acceptable that the lives of 
ordinary citizens and their 
children should be put at risk by firearms in the hands of 
disturbed people.

Robert Kelly

Round Riding Road